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Seoul stocks up ahead of ECB policy meeting

Sept 10,2019
Stocks closed higher on Monday, extending their gains to a fourth consecutive day, on hopes of monetary easing by the European Central Bank (ECB) this week. The won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi moved up 10.42 points, or 0.52 percent, to close at 2,019.55. Trade volume was high at 503 million shares worth 4.3 trillion won (3.6 billion dollars), with losers outnumbering gainers 508 to 320.

The index hovered above the psychologically significant level of 2,000 for the third session as well, after breaching the mark for the first since Aug. 1 on Wednesday.

Analysts said shares gathered ground amid expectations the ECB will come up with new stimulus measures during its meeting slated for Thursday.

“Along with the monetary policy meeting of the ECB, planned talks between the United States and China also boosted the investors’ sentiment,” Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities, said.

Washington and Beijing said last week they plan to hold high-level dialogue in October to settle their prolonged trade dispute.

Foreigners scooped up a net 231.3 billion won worth of shares, while retail investors dumped a net 172.6 billion won. Institutions sold more shares than they bought at 72 billion won.

Tech shares closed mostly higher, with Samsung Electronics rising 1.3 percent at 46,900 won and chipmaker SK Hynix increasing 2.93 percent at 84,300 won. LG Electronics, on the other hand, lost 1.13 percent at 61,300 won.

Pharmaceutical firms also gathered ground, with Celltrion advancing 0.3 percent at 166,000 won and Samsung BioLogics moving up 0.9 percent at 280,000 won.

Hyundai Glovis fell 1.62 percent at 152,000 won on reports that its ship accidentally tilted sideways off the coast of the United States, with operations under way to rescue the crew.

Naver leaped 2.34 percent to 153,000 but Kakao dropped 2.21 percent to 133,000.

Korean Air slid 0.44 percent at 22,550 won and Asiana Airlines fell 0.73 percent at 5,410 won.

The secondary Kosdaq lost 5.38 points, or 0.85 percent, to close at 625.77.

The local currency closed at 1,193.00 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.90 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed slightly lower. The yield on three-year bonds lost 2.8 basis points to 1.234 percent, while the yield on 10-year bonds remained flat to 1.56 percent.

BY KIM BYUNG-WOOK, YONHAP [kim.byungwook@joongang.co.kr]